Friday, February 24, 2023

2023 Drainage Project Update #4

 We stayed on task this week with drainage work on #12 despite looming wet weather. As planned, we moved to the middle of #12 fairway and completed 200 feet of drainage ahead of incoming storms. Enrique & Liborio can complete 200 feet in two days as long as it is dry. This type of work, or any type of work in which bare soil is exposed is a nightmare when it gets rained on, so we watch the forecast and move very cautiously with impending rain. Enjoy the pictures below that tell the story of drainage progress this past week. 

We got started Monday as planned to beat the weather forecast. Step #1 is remove the sod and start excavating the soil for pipe and gravel installation.

Step #2 install 4" perforated drain pipe, tie it into sub surface drainage system, and fill the ditch with drain gravel.

Step #3  replace the sod and sand topdress. 200' in 2 days. We will still need another week or more on #12.

Looks like drainage progress will get stalled next week, however weather forecasts are fickle and if we have a 2 day opportunity, we'll install another 200'

Poa - The Battle Begins

Poa Annua, or annual bluegrass is a common weed or  desirable grass depending on your perspective. Prior to our 2021 renovation our greens were a combination of Bentgrass and Poa Annua, and in 2021 during our renovation we resurfaced and seeded our greens to Dominator Creeping Bentgrass. I'll for sure be addressing the subject of Poa in these course updates from time to time, explaining our efforts and strategies to keep our new bentgrass greens free of it. 

We currently have more tools and treatments to help with Poa Annua encroachment then we had in the 1990's and there are more coming to market in California soon we hope. We will use everything at our disposal including most importantly over 40 years of hard knock experience understanding that this will be the fight of our lives and will only last forever. Every strategy from fertility and cultural practices, to irrigation and surface performance management will be evaluated through the lens of preventing Poa encroachment. 

Below are some pictures of a sweep we made earlier this week on our greens to hand pick small Poa Annua plants which is a common early strategy for new Bentgrass Greens. Treating every square inch of the surfaces is not necessary at this point when we can simply mechanically remove it while training our greenskeepers to identify and remove when the plants are small, which will be one of the ongoing strategies for the rest of our days. Below are some pictures of our "Poa Sweep" this week.

This plant was actually in the step collar but is a good example of a Poa Annua plant in Bentgrass.

Here we are using an ice pick to surround the margins of the poa plant and dig it out by the roots.

The extracted Poa plant.

Closing up the scar with a ball mark repair tool.

Adding a sand & Dominator Bentgrass seed mixture to the repaired scar.

Closeup of the finished product.

Thanks for Your Support. The Best is Yet to Come!

Friday, February 17, 2023

2023 Drainage Project Update #3

Continued work on #12 is full steam ahead this week as we are digging the necessary drainage in the area we started last week and preparing it for sod. Just in front of the  newly sodded area between the bunkers on the left hand side of the hole is a drainage inlet (DI's) or catch basin. At GBGC most of these these DI's are part of the original drainage system that are are typically located in low spots and swales, They are designed  to capture and remove surface water over the top of the turf and remove it through the underground drainage system. These are also our point of connection for the surface drainage work we are currently undertaking which really just helps that surface water get into that sub-surface drainage system much more rapidly. 

This drainage inlet and its exit pipe was compromised during the rush of construction, so we hade to spend a fair amount of time repairing and making it functional. By end of day Friday we will have re-sodded the section between the front bunkers we stripped and repaired last week, and added drainage this week. Additionally we will have repaired the drainage inlet and exit that all of this new drainage is connected too. Next week we will start right up the middle of #12. Enjoy some pictures of this weeks progress and next weeks plans.

Above shows the drainage inlet that was mentioned above. These are the tie-ins for gravel / french drains. Obviously if the exit drains are compromised the gravel drains attached to them wont function as designed.

Above depicts the initial work in fixing the drainage inlet. Ultimately Enrique and his crew had to install another exit line into the new pond.

Here is the same area after Enrique and crew put everything back together again.

Good overhead after everything was completed in the area. Two weeks of work to cleanup one of the most pressing loose ends from 2021. The area is roped off  to keep carts out and painted as GUR. The new  Santa Anna Sod that we purchased is substantially browner then our existing 1.5 year old fairway turf but will root down and establish once it warms up. This area will have restricted cart use until it is firmly established. Don't expect to drive through there until early summer and we will be GUR until the area greens up this spring. 

Adjacent to where we were teeing off this week on #12 is where  we will be working next week on drainage work through the middle of the fairway.

Tee markers for the upcoming week will be in this location about 170 yards out.

Above are the temporary posting details Mike Nicoletti worked out while we are in this location working on drainage. We will start on Monday which is a holiday and open for member play, however we have forecasted weather this week that could stall progress, so we plan to take advantage of weather conducive to drainage work while we can.

After #12 we plan to tackle this nagging wet spot in #2. As most of you know it is a relatively small spot but right in the landing area and has never really been right. We'll spend a whole week or whatever it takes, in this area if wee need to to get it right

Some Welcome New Members

If you have been out at the club recently you might have noticed a pair of Swans. I have read they will stay in a location as long there is a food supply and they dont feel threatened. They are likely sheltering on one of the islands in the main irrigation pond between #1 & #9 and perhaps nesting. The new Swans are not part of our goose hazing efforts, so the dogs will not harass them, and I've  heard Swans themselves can be decent goose hazers,  although I see no evidence of that currently. They are pretty, and if they can help with the geese control they are welcome here. Great article on Swans is linked below.

AZ Animals - Swan (cygnus atractus)

Granite Bay Swans

Monday, February 13, 2023

2023 Drainage Project Update #2

We moved to #12 fairway last week with our ongoing drainage work which encompasses a little more than just drainage work here.  The section of fairway preceding and between the first set of bunkers on this hole has never grown in properly from renovation in 2021. This was partially due to this fairway being the last fairway to be sprigged on the last day of August 2021, which is very late to grow-in sprigs. Additionally there were some deep bull dozer scrapes right down to the decomposing rock in the area which removed topsoil (sake of a better term) that was developed over 20 years, to shape the new bunkers.

Admittedly it was a rush job to beat the clock in a fairway spot that is a tight choke point, channeling all foot and vehicle traffic through an area of only 5000 square foot tops. GCM assumed we would have to re-visit this area, and our first full season proved this assumption correct. This area is one of the larger loose ends that need's to be tied-off. 

The area also needs drainage work, and it doesn't make sense to fix one portion of the problem here and not fix the other. And it makes the most sense to get the grade and soil right in the area first, then follow up with the drainage. And that is exactly what we started last  week and have provided some progress pictures below for those who are interested. 


Above shows the area we are talking about, between the first bunkers on #12. The heavy grey line depicts the area that we stripped and moved what sod was viable, then removed the rest and in
truckloads to our nursery area, All of the Bermuda sprigs in these truckloads will establish rapidly this summer providing us with sod for future use. The heavy lime green lines represent the main drain lines and the skinny tan lines lateral lines. This picture also shows the irrigation lines that we have to work around and make sure we don't hit 
them with the digging equipment.

The soil in this area it not nearly as good as it perhaps appears in this picture.
Picture shows we have already stripped out and moved most of the viable sod to the sod nursery.
What remains a combination of Bermuda plants or sprigs, topdressing sand and soil.
After relocating the sprig / soil piles, we actually went to the hard DG areas and dug them out and removed that soil as well. 

Both above and below depict the crew hauling and spreading sand and compost to replace the removed DG, readying the area for rototilling.

After spreading the compost and sand we incorporated those amendments 
into the top 6" the creating a good root zone mix for the re-sodding to come.

Complete root-zone and general grade modification. Awaiting phase two of this area for next week.

The Best is Yet to Come !

Saturday, February 4, 2023

2023 Winter Drainage Project Update #1

We started the drainage project highlighted in last weeks Course Update, starting with the the very beginning of #4 fairway. If you recall, we did do some drainage work in this area back in November prior to the rain we received in January. The recent storms exposed the need for more work here, so we started this week knowing we would be finished by Friday. 

Next week we plan to start a much larger job on #12. We plan to employ the same process we did this week in moving tee markers ahead of where we are working Monday through Friday so we can work both safely and productively and stay out of golfer's way. We will provide more pictures and progress reports next week on #12 as we plan to fix the other nagging issue between the first set of new bunkers which are related to surface drainage. Until then, below are a few pictures of this week's progress on #4.

We observed during January's rain events, the lack of rapid effectiveness of the previous drainage work we did in this area in November. Therefore, we decided to change tactics and dig the drains wider with the excavator. Drainage ditches are now approximately 12" wide & 16" deep with 2" of gravel on the bottom of the ditch, followed by a 4" perforated drainpipe, and filled to the top with 3/4" round drain rock. 

Good depiction of the work in progress. 

Compacted gravel awaiting sod replacement.

If you were playing last week, you might have observed piles of soil between the new left-hand fairway bunker on #9 and the pond edge. This is where we moved the soil from the #4 drainage ditches and will continue to add soil from #12 next week. This pond edge is in desperate need of expansion of 8 to 10 feet all the way around the bunker. This slight widening will allow for better transition between the lower bunker edge and water's edge as well making it easier for you to walk around and will facilitate much safer maintenance operations. Above picture shows the
smoothed-out soil we placed there this week.

We will clearly identify specifics when we move tee markers forward during this work.

We will continue to place benches and garbage containers to help identify teeing areas from afar.

Above shows the completed process on #4 the afternoon of Friday 2/3/23. GUR painted around the entire area.  Looks like we have a little rain coming our way starting Saturday afternoon through Sunday that will give this drainage work a little test run. 

The Best is Yet to Come!

Thank you.